Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Advent Of Pain Management

Patients suffering from chronic pain used to have very limited options when it comes to treatments of their condition. Recently however, advances in medical technology paved the way for the availability of more treatment options that respond to the many special needs of patients suffering from chronic pain.

Since most chronic pain cases have no known cure yet, the medical community created a new field of specialization called pain management which focuses on different ways to handle the condition. Pain specialists work hand in hand with physical therapists, nurses, and mental health professionals.

Since chronic pain has various causes, not one treatment works best for everyone. That is why pain specialists undergo advanced and extensive trainings in diagnosis and rehabilitation of the patients suffering from the condition. They are aware that pain may change over time. Chances are, treatments that proved effective in providing pain relief in the past may no longer work well or may even cause unusual side effects.

-Ramon Bravante

Monday, January 25, 2010

Painkiller Abuse Leads To Addiction

We have seen many celebrities succumbing to death involving prescription drug overdose. From the legendary icons Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe, to modern day icons Heath Ledger and Michael Jackson. Whether the cause of deaths were suicide or accidental overdose, the stigma on prescription drugs, particularly painkillers, has already been etched on the minds of many people.

As if these deaths were not enough, last month's headline about Aerosmith's Steven Tyler getting into rehab due to painkiller addiction once again brings to fore the risk and danger of painkillers.

Painkillers are prescription medication intended to block pain pathways in the body. This medication is administered to patients suffering from chronic pain. Experts believe that it is very unlikely for a patient who is regularly taking painkillers with a doctor's prescription and direction to get addicted to the medication, much less a normal person.

While some painkillers may be potentially addictive, the only sure way for it to happen is when a person abuses it – meaning to say, it goes beyond the bounds of prescription and direction of use. Usually, painkiller abuse is associated with a desire to derive a euphoric sense of well-being. - Ramon Bravante

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Radiofrequency Ablation: New Treatment For Chronic Pain Relief

For many types of rapid heartbeats, the preferred treatment is Radio frequency Ablation. In this outpatient non-surgical procedure, a small area of the nerve tissue is heated to decrease pain signals from that area. The procedure is conducted under guided CT imaging, with real-time, moving x-rays (fluoroscopy) displayed on a video screen. A catheter is inserted at the offending nerve site, then an electrical current produced by a radio wave is used for the heat-and-destroy mission, stopping the area from conducting the extra impulses that caused the rapid heartbeats.

Radio frequency ablation has a success rate of over 90 percent with a minimal risk of complications. Patients who have gone through the procedure are said to resume their normal function in just a few days. The procedure is done under mild sedation with local anaesthesia which causes very little discomfort or none at all. The chronic pain relief lasts for a relatively long period, from three to six months.

-Ramon Bravante

Friday, January 15, 2010

Alternative Pain Treatments

We all know that medicines are developed to make us feel better when we are feeling sick. Medicines are chemical substances or compounds that are used for the treatment and prevention of diseases and their symptoms. Advances in medications have enabled doctors to find cure to many diseases and save lives.

Analgesics are medicines for pain relief. However, each type of pain responds to certain medications differently. What works for one may not work for another. That is why there are OTC (Over-The-Counter) pain relief drugs and prescription pain medicines.

OTC pain medicines include acetaminophen and NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs). Acetaminophen is a non-aspirin pain medicine used for the treatment of fever, headaches, and other common aches and pains. It is safer for children and easier to the stomach than other pain medicines. NSAIDs are pain relief drugs that can reduce inflammation or swelling caused by injury, arthritis, or fever. These drugs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and other prescription drugs.

Prescription pain medicines include COX2 and other narcotic painkillers for treatment of severe pains. These drugs are very strong and potentially habit-forming.
Some people prefer alternative pain treatments such as relaxation techniques, massage, biofeedback, hot and cold compress, and rest.

-Ramon Bravante

Friday, January 8, 2010

Natural Treatments to Headache and Migraine

What pain relief do you use? natural or prescription drugs? It is proven that most cases of headaches are related to tension which experience muscle in the head tighten. While on the other hand, migraines or vascular headaches are due to constricted blood vessels.

Most people experience head pains at some point in their lives. Most doctors prescribe pain relief medications for this type of pain condition. While other people advices to have natural remedies. They said that natural remedies are better alternative treatment for headaches.

Aside from the fact that these are safer to use and practice, natural remedies also promote relaxation.

The following are some of the known and recommended natural treatments to headache and migraine:

1. Stay away from foods that can trigger headache and migraine.

There are some foods that can trigger migraine or head pains. With this, it is best to determine which food you often eat easily trigger migraine. As it may take time for one to determine which foods are likely to trigger headache, it may be best to avoid the foods mentioned beforehand and free your kitchen as well as your diet from these foods.

2. Use an ice pack.

As soon as the headache strikes, quickly apply an ice pack, for this can provide quick relief. Ice packs can be placed on the forehead or on top of the head.

3. Get a relaxing massage.

Many commend that a massage can really relieve one from stress as well as it can relax the muscles in the neck. Using the fingertips, start massaging the temples and the scalp in a circular motion.

4. Check out aromatherapy.

Healthcare experts claim that aromatherapy can relieve pain and stress as well as it can promote relaxation. Herbal oils when inhaled can relax the body. These can also be used in massaging the head – across the temples, back of the neck, behind the ears, and the forehead.

5. Exercise regularly.

Regular exercise can definitely help one avoid experiencing frequent headache and migraine attacks. Simple exercise routines include jogging, swimming, or walking. These can help prevent the occurrence of head pains or migraines.

6. Seek biofeedback treatment.

Studies show that the biofeedback treatment can effectively relieve as well as prevent headache. This procedure works by changing and controlling the vital functions of the body like blood flow, muscle tension, and temperature.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Other Serious Back Pain Treatment

Finding treatment for serious backpain is really difficult to find. USA findings that 60-90% of the population is touted to have at least a single incident of back pain in their lives. Back pain spells trouble for even the seemingly effortless movements we make every day. Which is annoying, anyway majority of back pain cases are remedied via home treatment And for low back pain relief, non-prescription pain killers are the common resort. Combined with bed rest within a specific period, these medications would do well enough to alleviate back pain condition.

In a certain circumstances wherein none of these methods work, our doctor could suggest any of the following forms or methods of treatment and therapies.

1. Remedies. During instances wherein over-the-counter pain killers would not work on mild to moderate cases of back pain, our doctor could prescribe non-inflammatory medications or even muscle relaxants. Prescription pain relievers like narcotics can be used briefly under our doctor's strict supervision. Chronic back pain, on the other hand, are sometimes remedied with low dosages of antidepressants.

2. Injections.There are some specific cases, however, in which none of the usual known methods would work. As such, these instances would call for cortisone injections, especially in the case of pain that travels all the way down the leg. To be administered by our doctor, cortisone injections alleviate the inflammation in the nerve roots' area for approximately less than six weeks.

3. Physical Therapies and Exercises.There are several treatment approaches a physical therapist can do to alleviate our pain in the soft tissues and back muscles: ice, heat, electrical stimulation, muscle-release methods, and ultrasound. They would then introduce us to specific exercises as soon as our condition gets better. These exercises are intended for the following purposes: strengthen our back and abdominal muscles, raise our flexibility, and develop better posture. Performing these exercises on a regular basis would help keep us pain free for the rest of our life.

4.Surgery.Surgery is a drastic approach for treating soft tissue and muscle-related back pain. It is usually done for herniated disk cases only. However, surgery is applied if the pain is persistent, and it causes weakening of the muscles due to nerve compression.